The network is one of the most vulnerable areas in an IT infrastructure. This is because it faces a constant barrage of attacks from both internal and external sources, which can disrupt services. An attack may be in the form of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack or an intrusion to steal intellectual property. To protect against such attacks, organizations often deploy network security appliances such as firewalls or intrusion prevention systems (IPS). These devices effectively prevent attacks but are often inefficient at protecting applications. Therefore, the proliferation of sensitive applications on corporate networks challenges IDS, firewall, and IPS security technologies. read further to know more about App Shielding.
An application vulnerability or vulnerability assessment is a weakness in software or hardware that allows attackers to exploit it to perform illegal actions or hijack security-related processes within the system. This can occur on a network when malicious software or code runs on a computer with administrator-level permissions and accesses information that should be protected. A common example of an application vulnerability is a buffer overflow in which an attacker can run a program or script that places itself in the computer’s memory and execute malicious code.
Application firewalls are designed to protect applications from vulnerabilities by blocking any traffic not sent from the application itself. This type of firewall is highly effective against basic attacks, but it cannot prevent a vulnerability in one application from being exploited in another application.
Application isolation can help reduce the exposure of an application to vulnerabilities. An application should be conducted at a higher level of abstraction than the operating system and application software packages. If a vulnerability is discovered in an application, it would not usually affect the integrity of other application components.
Application whitelisting is a process in which a vulnerable application is removed from the whitelist. Any file or program on the whitelist will be allowed to run, regardless of its vulnerabilities. This type of security policy can be especially effective in preventing a vulnerability from being exploited and making it extremely difficult for attackers to leverage it. An application not on the whitelist may be blocked from running by an intrusion detection system (IDS), firewall, or application firewall.
Application control is a security policy that helps to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities in an application or achieving unauthorized access to the application. That is, it ensures that only valid users may access the vulnerable application and gain access to sensitive information. This type of policy can be effective against targeted attacks because authorized users are blocked from being able to exploit vulnerabilities by obtaining unauthorized access. It also prevents attackers from gaining unauthorized access if they leverage a vulnerability once they have gained administrator-level privileges on the system.
Application protection is a security policy that helps to protect an application from vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit. It also allows application users to gain access to sensitive information without running unauthorized applications, scripts, or binaries. This type of security policy can be highly effective against targeted attacks because unauthorized users are prevented from exploiting the vulnerability and gaining access to the system. It also prevents hackers from gaining unauthorized access if they leverage a vulnerability once they have gained administrator-level privileges on the system.
Data-centric security is a security policy that allows users to access data without having to run unauthorized applications, scripts, or binaries. This policy is especially effective against targeted attacks because unauthorized users are prevented from gaining access to the system while authorized users are granted access to sensitive information. Hackers may still be able to leverage a vulnerability if they gain administrator-level privileges on the system.
Intrusion Prevention System–Based Control
Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are designed to detect attempted attacks and prevent them from succeeding, thereby avoiding network and application performance degradation. They help prevent unauthorized access by detecting, reporting and blocking any attack against the system. The IPS can be installed in a gateway device or as a standalone unit deployed at the end of the network segment. They can also be integrated with an application firewall so that malicious traffic from outside is blocked from reaching the system through the firewall.
Network Intrusion Detection System–Based Control
A network intrusion detection system (NIDS) is a security monitoring system that can detect and report malicious activity and events on a network. It does this by inspecting data packets on the network for matches against a list of signatures of known attack patterns. A signature is information stored in a database compared with each packet as it passes through the NIDS. If there is a match, then an alert will be generated. The NIDS is also designed to block any traffic that does not match one of the signatures.
Network Intrusion Prevention System–Based Control
A network intrusion prevention system (NIPS) is a network security monitoring system that can inspect data packets on the network for matches against a list of signatures of known attack patterns. It can also suppress or drop any packet that matches one of the signatures, thereby blocking access to sensitive information once it has been identified. The NIPS is typically used to protect the network perimeter, which is the point where access to the network is granted or denied.
Open Source Security Monitoring Tools
Open source security monitoring tools are designed to monitor and audit network traffic for vulnerabilities and identify malicious activity that attackers could use to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. They can be used with a network intrusion detection system (NIDS) to protect against targeted attacks.
Patch management is the process of continually monitoring systems and updating applications with patches that are designed to prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited. It also ensures that systems are fully patched and perform at full capacity. The mitigation approach described in this section is often used with vulnerability management, which includes assessing risks, developing mitigation strategies, and designing a plan for mitigating vulnerabilities in mission-critical systems.
Penetration testing is a process used to identify security vulnerabilities and common network attacks. It is often performed by penetration testers, experienced system administrators and computer security professionals, or external security assessment services. A penetration tester can identify weaknesses in the defences designed to prevent unauthorized access and exploit some of them to gain access to sensitive information. With that knowledge, an attacker can launch targeted attacks against an organization’s systems in order to gain access to sensitive information. Penetration testing can also be used as a form of vulnerability assessment and should be used to complement vulnerability management procedures before an organization takes steps to change the configuration of its systems.
Access controls are designed to protect an organization’s resources and sensitive data by preventing unauthorized access. They are implemented in three different ways based on the risk associated with the resource. Based on the application shielding, it is necessary to implement technical controls designed to protect and prevent unauthorized access, such as by using encryption solutions.